Financial technology, or in short fintech, is a new financial industry that applies technology to improve financial activities. The use of smartphones for mobile banking, investing services and cryptocurrency are examples of technologies aiming to make financial services more accessible to the general public. Financial technology companies consist of both startups and established financial institutions and technology companies trying to replace or enhance the usage of financial services provided by existing financial companies. Many existing financial institutions are implementing Fintech solutions and technologies in order to improve and develop their services, as well as gaining an improved competitive stance.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore is encouraging fintech experimentation so that promising innovations can be tested in the market and have a chance for wider adoption both in Singapore and abroad. In 2005, the Authority formed a Financial Technology & Innovation Group to drive the initiatives for these innovations. The group acts as a mentor and is responsible for formulating regulatory policies and developing strategies to facilitate the use of technology and innovation to better manage risks, enhance efficiency, and strengthen competitiveness in the financial sector.
According to the Authority, all businesses must be registered with in Singapore. This includes any individual, firm or corporation that carries out business for a foreign company. A foreign company that wants to set up a branch for its business in Singapore will need to appoint two local agents to act on its behalf, and these agents must be Singapore residents.